Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film That Sank United Artists (Updated)

Steven Bach (Author)
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Heaven's Gate is probably the most discussed, least seen film in modern movie history. Its notoriety is so great that its title has become a generic term for disaster, for ego run rampant, for epic mismanagement, for wanton extravagance. It was also the film that brought down one of Hollywood's major studios--United Artists, the company founded in 1919 by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, D. W. Griffith, and Charlie Chaplin. Steven Bach was senior vice president and head of worldwide production for United Artists at the time of the filming of Heaven's Gate, and apart from the director and producer, the only person to witness the film's evolution from beginning to end. Combining wit, extraordinary anecdotes, and historical perspective, he has produced a landmark book on Hollywood and its people, and in so doing, tells a story of human absurdity that would have made Chaplin proud.

Product Details

Newmarket Press
Publish Date
August 16, 1999
5.97 X 1.18 X 9.0 inches | 1.26 pounds
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About the Author

Steven Bach was the senior vice-president and head of worldwide production for United Artists at the time of the filming of "Heaven's Gate." He has been associated with such productions as "Sleuth," "The Parallax View," "The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three," and "The French Lieutenant's Woman." Apart from the director and the producer, Bach was the only person to witness the evolution of "Heaven's Gate" from beginning to end. He now teaches film at Columbia University.


"The best account of American moviemaking in the age of conglomerate control of the studios." -- Pauline Kael, "The New Yorker"

"A landmark book on movies...must reading!" --"Kirkus Reviews"

"A compulsively readable account of adventures in the film trade. An intimate view of what goes on in the corridors of Hollywood power...distinguished by its awesome objectivity." --David Brown, The Zanuck Brown Co.

"Buffs will love this one...inside and fascinating looks at Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Sellers, writer William Goldman, Dino De Laurentiis, Truman Capote, Martin Scorsese, et al." --"Newsday"

"A riveting, witty and essentially heartbreaking chronicle of a catastrophe..." --Peter Bogdanovich, director of "The Last Picture Show"

"One of the few indispensable books about Hollywood." --Jack Kroll, "Newsweek"